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A To-Do list saves you from going crazy

focus planning Jan 07, 2019

At times I would like to be one of those people that never uses a to-do list. I hear things like “It’s all in my head” or “I like to be flexible and see how my day goes”, “I don’t like to feel tied down”
etc. etc.

In a way that sounds fabulous, it seems you have everything under control, you are so relaxed that you don’t have to worry about what comes next or maybe you don’t have the faintest idea how to take control of your life and choose to ignore the situation and that’s why you use those arguments without realizing it. Or maybe you truly feel that you have everything under control and worry never clouds your mind. Congratulations!

Personally, I like to have things under control and use a “to-do list”, since otherwise my mind cannot concentrate on the things that are important, because I start worrying and thinking that maybe I’m forgetting something since I didn’t write it down and then it really would be a disaster and I start stressing and that’s not good for my health.

Entrepreneur Magazine published an article in January of this year that shares how a recent study found that, if you only take five minutes to write down your to do list, you can fall asleep faster. Researchers supervised a group of college students who were divided into two groups.
One group wrote down what they needed to do the next day, and the other group was only asked to write down what they had accomplished in the last few days. The results of the study demonstrated that the participants who wrote a to-do list fell asleep faster and rested better than those who only thought about what they had done previously during the week. Moreover, the more specific that list is, the faster the people fell asleep.

If you’re still not convinced that you should use a to-do list, we suggest you review some of the benefits of having one. A to-do list can:


Have you ever tried to read a book, carry on a conversation, or fall asleep, however, something is continually running through your mind over and over again?

According to psychologist and behavioral neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin, author of The Organized Mind, there’s a good reason for that.

He says: "the conscious mind can only pay attention to three or four things at once”. So, if we write down what we have to do, it frees up that precious mental space. If we don’t do it, we emphasize that we will forget what we need to do and that worry spins around in our mind.

If you don’t believe him, consider other research that shows that people will remember more the things that are not completed yet. So if something is not written down, the thoughts can go around and around in your head and can lead to you have anxiety.

The brain is a natural problem solver, therefore, unless you let it rest, the brain will continue to try to find a solution. When you take something away from your brain and write it on a list, it frees up a large mental space. Try it and you will see the results.

Give you the feeling of accomplishment
I don’t know if it’s happened to you, but when I get to check something off my to-do list, ✅, I feel happy, with a feeling of accomplishment, like I got something done, no matter how small. Studies show that when you are happy you are more productive, you are more motivated, and that snowballs into positive feelings. Imagine then what you can accomplish with that attitude!

So, checking things off your list, even small things, can be very satisfying and gratifying. This can encourage a habit, which at the same time will allow you to produce unimaginable outcomes.

Keeping a to-do list also lets you review what you’ve achieved at the end of the day or the week. Just a little makes you feel like a superstar.

Create order and makes them reachable
A to-do list is an orderly way to organize how to do the things you need to do. When you take them out of your head and write them down, they take on another dimension, and it allows you to review them, organize them, and make them reachable

Projects and plans are divided into smaller parts that more manageable. A to-do list not only creates order, it also gives you a strategy to get things done.

It also helps you do the things on your list more efficiently since you can see everything you need to do with one look and establish priorities, this will allow you to focus on what’s important and let you get that feeling of accomplishment we talked about earlier.

An important point to mention is that you DON’T try to do everything at once, since instead of giving you a feeling of accomplishment, it will generate more stress.

The secret here is to prioritize. Choose 3 activities in your long list of tasks that will help you reach your objectives. Believe me, if you only concentrate on 3 activities at a time, you will accomplish a lot more than if you try to do it all, move forward with small but firm steps.

Try this for at least 1 month and you will see results. We invite you to share those results with us


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© 2019, All Rights Reserved, Aldin Consulting Group, LLC.

Alicia Díaz-Blevins

[email protected]


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